The University of Georgia – As the earth is warming; the Arctic meltdown is all set to expose the massive carbon dioxide store that can threaten the sustenance of life on earth. According to Aron Stubbins, a researcher at the University Of Georgia Skidaway Institute Of Oceanography, the ancient carbon is until now locked in the Arctic permafrost. The study reports were published in the Geophysical Research Letters.
After staying dormant for around thousands of years, now due to global warming the carbon dioxide is slowly leaking into the atmosphere. Even though the discussion of reducing the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere has been doing rounds for the past couple of decades, no consideration ever was given to this Arctic CO2 storehouse.
Once the carbon starts releasing into the atmosphere, it can immediately bring a drastic change in the climate and the consequences can be quite dreadful. The frozen soil in the Arctic region carries the major amount of this carbon store. This soil is the remnants of animals and plants that died around 20,000 years ago or more. This organic material could not decompose as it was frozen permanently for years together.
Decomposition of Organic Material Can Cause Carbon Release
In its frozen state, the organic material is protected from the bacteria that otherwise in warmer conditions immediately start the process of decomposition of organic material. Hence, now when there will be Arctic meltdown the organic material will be exposed to the bacteria, which will cause the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in higher amounts.
The U.S Army released a film on the Distant Early Warning System known as DEW line in 1958. It was an educational film that depicted the importance of the DEW line, which was built in the form of radar sites in the North American Arctic. The move was taken to alert Washington to the impending attack from Soviet during the cold war days.
The opening lines of that film described the exact condition of the Arctic circles, as it is today, desolate, remote and savage. However, no one could foresee the problem of carbon release it can cause in the future.